Harrington Group Blog

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Top Tips for Saving Money During the Summer Season

Summer is a season filled with sunshine, vacations, and fun, but it can also be a time when expenses tend to rise. From higher utility bills to vacations and outings, it's easy to see how summer spending can quickly add up. However, with some smart planning and a few simple strategies, you can enjoy the season while keeping your wallet happy. In this blog post, we'll explore some effective ways to save money during the summer time, allowing you to make the most of the season without breaking the bank.

1. Embrace the Great Outdoors:
One of the best aspects of summer is the opportunity to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Instead of spending money on expensive indoor entertainment options, take advantage of free or low-cost outdoor activities. Go for a hike, have a picnic in the park, organize a beach day, or explore local trails. Not only will you save money on expensive attractions, but you'll also get some exercise and fresh air in the process.

2. Save on Energy Costs:
With the sweltering heat, keeping cool can become a major expense during the summer. To save money on energy bills, consider these tips:
- Use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible.
- Close curtains and blinds during the hottest parts of the day to block out the sun.
- Optimize your thermostat settings by adjusting it slightly higher to reduce cooling costs.
- Take advantage of natural ventilation by opening windows during cooler evenings.

3. Plan Budget-Friendly Vacations:
Summer is synonymous with vacations, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to have a memorable time. Consider these budget-friendly vacation ideas:
- Opt for local destinations: Explore nearby cities or towns you've never visited before. You'll save on transportation costs and can often find great deals on accommodations.
- Plan a staycation: Take time off work and transform your home into a relaxing oasis. Explore your city, visit local attractions, or simply relax and catch up on your favorite books or movies.
- Consider camping: Camping is an affordable and fun option for nature lovers. Pitch a tent, build a campfire, and enjoy the great outdoors without spending a fortune.

4. Grow Your Own Food:
Summer is the perfect time to start a small garden. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs can significantly reduce your grocery bill. Even if you don't have a backyard, you can grow herbs or small plants on a windowsill or balcony. Not only will you save money, but you'll also have the satisfaction of eating homegrown, fresh produce.

5. Host Frugal Summer Gatherings:
Summer often calls for socializing and get-togethers. Instead of going out to expensive restaurants or venues, host your own frugal gatherings. Organize potluck dinners or BBQs, where each guest brings a dish to share. Alternatively, take advantage of public spaces like parks or beaches, where you can host picnics or outdoor games for free.

6. Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses:
Take a close look at your regular expenses and see where you can make cutbacks. For example:
- Reduce dining out: Instead of eating at restaurants, try cooking at home more often. Experiment with new summer recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
- Limit unnecessary shopping: Avoid impulsive purchases and stick to items that you genuinely need. Consider renting or borrowing equipment or tools for occasional use instead of buying them outright.
- Save on transportation: Whenever possible, opt for biking, walking, or using public transportation instead of relying on your car. Not only will this save you money on fuel, but it's also better for the environment.

Saving money during the summer doesn't mean sacrificing fun or relaxation. By embracing outdoor activities, being mindful of your energy usage, planning budget-friendly vacations, growing your own food, hosting frugal gatherings, and cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can enjoy the season while keeping your finances in check. Implement these tips and watch as your savings grow while you make the most of the sunny days ahead.
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Embrace the Green: Eco-Friendly Tips for a Greener Summer

As summer arrives, it's the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors and soak up the sun. However, it's essential to remember our responsibility towards the environment and make eco-friendly choices that promote sustainability. By incorporating a few simple practices into our summer routines, we can contribute to a greener planet. Here are some eco-friendly tips to help you have a memorable and environmentally-conscious summer.

Sustainable Travel:
- Choose public transportation, carpooling, or biking whenever possible.
- Maintain your vehicle properly to minimize emissions.
- Explore local destinations to reduce your carbon footprint and support nearby communities.

Water Conservation:
- Take shorter showers and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
- Use a pool cover to reduce water evaporation.
- Water plants during the cooler parts of the day to minimize water loss.

Eco-Friendly Outdoor Activities:
Use reusable plates, utensils, and water bottles for picnics and BBQs.
Explore local hiking trails and enjoy nature-friendly activities.
Organize a beach clean-up day or participate in community gardening projects.

Energy-Efficient Living:
- Utilize natural ventilation by opening windows during cooler nights.
- Use fans instead of air conditioning whenever possible.
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and unplug electronics when not in use.

Sustainable Food Choices:
- Support local farmers' markets and choose seasonal, organic produce.
- Reduce food waste by planning meals and storing leftovers properly.
- Compost food scraps to minimize landfill waste.

Sunscreen and Bug Repellent:
- Opt for environmentally-friendly sunscreen and bug repellent options.
- Look for products that are free from harmful chemicals and safe for aquatic life.

This summer, let's commit to making environmentally-friendly choices and contribute to a greener future. By embracing sustainable travel, conserving water, engaging in eco-friendly activities, adopting energy-efficient habits, making sustainable food choices, and using environmentally-friendly personal care products, we can make a positive impact on the planet. Remember, even small actions add up, and together, we can enjoy a memorable summer while protecting the environment for generations to come. So, go ahead, embrace the green and make this summer your greenest one yet!

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Sizzling Summer Delight: The Perfect Barbecue Recipe for Memorable Gatherings

As the sun shines brightly and the temperatures soar, there's no better way to celebrate summer than by hosting a barbecue with friends and family. The smoky aroma, the sound of sizzling meat, and the laughter filling the air create an atmosphere of pure joy. To make your barbecue gathering truly unforgettable, we present you with a mouthwatering recipe that will tantalize taste buds and leave your guests craving for more. Get ready to fire up the grill and prepare yourself for the ultimate summer delight!

Grilled Honey Glazed Chicken Skewers Nothing quite beats the succulent and tender meat on a skewer, and Grilled Honey Glazed Chicken Skewers are sure to be the star of your barbecue. The combination of smoky grilled chicken with a sweet and tangy glaze will leave everyone wanting seconds. To prepare this delightful dish, start by marinating bite-sized chicken pieces in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, garlic, and lime juice. Allow the flavors to meld together for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Once marinated, thread the chicken onto skewers and grill them over medium heat until they are cooked through and slightly charred. Baste the skewers generously with the remaining marinade while grilling to enhance the glaze. Serve these delectable skewers alongside a fresh green salad or fluffy basmati rice for a complete meal.

Grilled Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers Adding a touch of tropical sweetness to your barbecue is the Grilled Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers. This vibrant and flavor-packed dish is a perfect combination of juicy pineapple chunks, succulent shrimp, and a zesty marinade. Begin by preparing the marinade using a blend of lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and a hint of chili flakes for a slight kick. Toss the shrimp and pineapple in the marinade, and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Skewer the marinated shrimp and pineapple alternately and grill them over medium-high heat until the shrimp turn pink and slightly charred. The caramelized pineapple adds a delightful sweetness to the dish, complementing the savory shrimp perfectly. Serve these skewers as an appetizer or a main course, and watch them disappear in no time.

Grilled Vegetable Medley No barbecue is complete without a delicious array of grilled vegetables, and a Grilled Vegetable Medley is a vibrant and healthy addition to your summer feast. Start by selecting a variety of colorful vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes. Slice them into bite-sized pieces and toss them in a marinade made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and a sprinkle of your favorite herbs. Let the vegetables soak up the flavors for about 15 minutes, then place them on the grill over medium heat. Cook until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred, turning them occasionally to ensure even cooking. This versatile side dish pairs well with any grilled meat or can be enjoyed on its own as a vegetarian option.

As the sun sets and the laughter lingers, a summer barbecue gathering filled with delectable dishes becomes a cherished memory. So, fire up the grill, gather your loved ones, and let the aroma of sizzling barbecue be the soundtrack to a summer filled with joy, laughter, and unforgettable moments.
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A Musical Extravaganza: 10 Unforgettable Outdoor Music Events in Pasadena and Oakland this Summer

Summer is the season of music, and the vibrant cities of Pasadena and Oakland are set to ignite the stage with an array of outdoor music events. From enchanting jazz festivals to pulsating electronic music gatherings, these cities offer a diverse range of musical experiences. Whether you're a jazz aficionado, a rock enthusiast, or a lover of world music, there's something for everyone. Let's dive into the excitement and explore ten remarkable outdoor music events that will make this summer an unforgettable one.

1) Pasadena Jazz Festival: The Pasadena Jazz Festival is a must-attend event for all jazz lovers. Set against the stunning backdrop of Pasadena's picturesque parks, this festival brings together renowned jazz musicians from around the nation. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies and improvisational brilliance that define jazz, while enjoying delectable food and drinks in the company of fellow music enthusiasts.

2) Oakland Music in the Redwoods: Escape to the serene Redwood Regional Park in Oakland for an enchanting evening of music amidst nature. Music in the Redwoods is a series of concerts featuring local artists and bands performing various genres, including folk, acoustic, and indie. Sit back, relax, and let the melodies transport you to a world of tranquility.

3) Levitt Pavilion Pasadena: The Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena is a summer staple for music lovers. This open-air venue hosts free concerts throughout the season, showcasing an eclectic mix of genres and artists. From reggae and world music to rock and blues, the Levitt Pavilion offers a diverse musical experience for all ages.

4) Oakland Art + Soul Festival: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Oakland Art + Soul Festival, where music, art, and community converge. This two-day extravaganza celebrates the city's rich cultural heritage with multiple stages featuring an impressive lineup of local and national artists performing soul, funk, R&B, and more. Experience the energy of Oakland's music scene and indulge in delicious food and captivating art installations.

5) Pasadena Symphony & Pops: Enjoy an evening of classical and pops music under the stars at Pasadena Symphony & Pops' outdoor concerts. Set in the beautiful Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, these performances feature renowned orchestras and talented soloists. Be captivated by the enchanting melodies as they blend with the sounds of nature.

6) Oakland Music Festival: The Oakland Music Festival is a celebration of the city's thriving music culture. This multi-venue event showcases emerging artists and established acts, covering a wide range of genres from hip-hop and electronic to indie and punk. Experience the vibrant energy of Oakland's music scene as you hop from one venue to another, discovering new sounds and connecting with fellow music enthusiasts.

7) Make Music Pasadena: Make Music Pasadena is a city-wide music festival that transforms the streets and venues of Pasadena into a lively sonic playground. With over 100 stages, this event offers an unparalleled diversity of genres and performances. From local talents to internationally acclaimed artists, Make Music Pasadena is a celebration of music that transcends boundaries.

8) Oakland Reggae Festival: Feel the rhythm and embrace the island vibes at the Oakland Reggae Festival. This outdoor event showcases reggae legends and emerging artists, transporting attendees to the shores of Jamaica through uplifting melodies and infectious beats. Get ready to dance, sway, and immerse yourself in the soul-stirring sounds of reggae.

9) Pasadena Folk Music Society Concerts: For lovers of folk music, the Pasadena Folk Music Society Concerts are a hidden gem. Held in various outdoor venues, these intimate gatherings feature talented folk artists and acoustic musicians, creating an atmosphere that is both cozy and captivating. Bring a blanket, sit back, and let the soothing melodies and heartfelt lyrics wash over you.

10) Oakland Music in the Parks: Oakland's Music in the Parks series brings the community together for free concerts in local parks. This family-friendly event features a diverse lineup of performers, including jazz ensembles, Latin bands, and soul singers. Pack a picnic, gather your loved ones, and enjoy the sounds of summer in the heart of Oakland's green spaces.

Pasadena and Oakland are poised to deliver a summer filled with incredible outdoor music events that cater to a wide range of musical tastes. From jazz and classical to reggae and indie, these cities embrace the spirit of music and community. So, mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and immerse yourself in the magic of live music under the open sky. Let the melodies uplift your spirits and create cherished memories that will resonate long after the summer fades away.
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Enjoying a Safe and Fun-Filled Summer: Top 5 Safety Tips

With the arrival of summer, the warm sun beckons us outdoors to embark on thrilling adventures and create lasting memories. However, amidst the excitement, it's crucial to prioritize safety to ensure a carefree and enjoyable summer season for everyone. From sun protection to water safety, here are five essential tips to keep in mind while savoring the delights of summertime.

1) Guard Against the Sun's Rays:
The scorching summer sun can pose significant risks to our skin. Shield yourself from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor), wearing wide-brimmed hats, and donning sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, seek shade during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) when the sun is at its strongest. Remember, proper sun protection not only prevents painful sunburns but also reduces the long-term risk of skin cancer.

2) Stay Hydrated:
Hydration is key to maintaining good health during the summer months. Higher temperatures and increased outdoor activities can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, and even heatstroke. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go and encourage those around you to do the same. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary drinks and alcohol as they can contribute to dehydration.

3) Practice Water Safety:
Whether you're heading to the beach, pool, or enjoying a day on the lake, water safety is paramount. Never leave children unattended near water, even if they are experienced swimmers. Ensure everyone wears properly fitted life jackets when boating or participating in water sports. Familiarize yourself with basic water rescue techniques and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) to be prepared for emergencies. Lastly, be cautious of strong currents and only swim in designated areas with lifeguards present.

4) Be Mindful of Heat-Related Illnesses:
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, are real dangers during the summer. Watch out for signs of overheating, including dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and profuse sweating. If you or someone around you exhibits these symptoms, move to a cool, shaded area, drink fluids, and seek medical attention if necessary. Wear lightweight and breathable clothing, use fans or air conditioning to cool down, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day.

5) Practice Outdoor Activity Safety:
Engaging in outdoor activities is one of the highlights of summer, but it's important to do so safely. Whether you're biking, hiking, or participating in team sports, always wear appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, knee pads, and sturdy shoes. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially when exploring unfamiliar trails or wilderness areas. Stay updated on weather conditions and be prepared for sudden changes. It's also advisable to inform someone of your plans before heading out and carry a fully charged phone for emergencies.

Summer is a season filled with joy and adventure, but taking precautions for safety is essential to make the most of it. By following these five safety tips, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from sunburn, dehydration, water-related accidents, heat-related illnesses, and outdoor activity mishaps. Prioritize safety, stay vigilant, and enjoy a memorable and worry-free summer season!
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Making Passive Income Work for You

Passive income is a great way to build wealth without having to trade your time for money. It’s all about creating streams of income that continue to generate revenue for you even when you’re not actively working on them. Here are 10 passive income ideas that you can start implementing today to build wealth:

1) Invest in Dividend Stocks - Dividend stocks pay out a portion of their profits to shareholders, providing a steady stream of income.

2) Rent out a Room on Airbnb - If you have extra space in your home, you can rent it out on Airbnb to travelers and earn a passive income.

3) Start a Blog - Starting a blog takes time and effort to build an audience, but once you do, you can make money through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising.

4) Create an Online Course - Share your expertise by creating an online course and selling it on platforms like Udemy or Teachable.

5) Sell Digital Products - Sell digital products like eBooks, printables, or stock photos on marketplaces like Etsy or Creative Market.

6) Invest in Rental Properties - Rental properties can provide a reliable stream of rental income, especially in popular vacation destinations.

7) Invest in a REIT - Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) pool money from investors to buy and manage income-generating properties.

8) Create a YouTube Channel - Grow a YouTube following by creating informative or entertaining videos, and monetize your channel with advertising revenue and sponsored content.

9) Invest in Index Funds - Index funds offer a passive way to invest in the stock market, diversify your portfolio and earn dividends.

10) Peer-to-Peer Lending - P2P lending platforms like LendingClub allow you to lend money to individuals or small businesses in exchange for interest payments.

While these ideas require some initial effort to set up, they have the potential to generate passive income for years to come. Start small and diversify your income streams to build long-term wealth.
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Earth Day is here and living a more sustainable and green lifestyle is essential in today's world to ensure a healthy and livable environment for future generations. Here are five ways that you can be more green in your day-to-day life:

1) Reduce your carbon footprint by using public transportation or biking instead of driving a car. Cars are one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, which are a major cause of global warming. Choosing to walk or cycle instead of driving will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also improve your physical health.

2) Reduce waste by carrying a reusable water bottle and shopping bags. Plastic waste is a significant problem globally, and by carrying a reusable water bottle and shopping bags, you can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste that you produce. Additionally, try to buy products with minimal packaging to further reduce waste.

3) Use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. Switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs can significantly reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint. Furthermore, turn off electronics and lights when not in use, and unplug electronics that consume standby power, such as chargers.

4) Choose sustainable and eco-friendly products. When shopping, choose products that are made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo or recycled materials. Additionally, choose products that are produced locally to reduce transportation emissions.
5) Incorporate green habits into your daily routine. Make a habit of turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and composting food waste. By incorporating green habits into your daily routine, you can make a significant impact on the environment.

In conclusion, living a more green lifestyle requires a conscious effort to reduce your impact on the environment. By implementing these five simple tips, either at the office or at home, you can reduce your carbon footprint, waste, and energy consumption while promoting a healthier planet. Remember, every small step counts, and together we can make a significant impact on the world.
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As most of us (if not all of us) know by now, filing tax returns on time is essential to avoiding penalties and additional fees. April 15th, the dreaded Tax Day, is the usual deadline. That is, unless April 15th falls on a weekend or a Holiday, in which your forms would be due on the following business day. Either way, this date is approaching quickly.

Times are hard, emergencies, and just life in general can often get the best of us. Luckily, we all have the option to file a tax extension if we fear the current deadline. It’s fairly easy to file an extension but there are some important points to stay aware of. Here is what you need to know, in order to pull it off flawlessly.

How much extra time does a tax extension grant?

For an individual, the answer is 6 whole months. When you submit your request for an extension of time to file your tax returns, you will be assigned a new due date of October 15th (woo!). Same as the current deadline, if October 15th falls on a weekend or a Holiday, your due date will be the following business day.

For a nonprofit organization, you can choose either 3 months or 6 months.

How do you request a tax deadline extension?

For an individual filing a tax extension, the process includes submitting a single form to the IRS: Form 4868 “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This form can be sent via mail or e-filed using an online service. As an individual, you will not have to wait for the IRS to approve your request. You will be granted an automatic extension of your tax deadline. It’s important to note that you MUST submit the form 4868 by the April 15th deadline, in order to get your extension without penalty.

For a nonprofit organization filing a tax extension, the proper form to use would be the IRS Form 8868 “Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return”. This form will request an automatic 3 month extension but can also be used to apply for an additional 3 month (non-automatic) extension – taking it up to a total 6 month extension. It is important to keep in mind that for nonprofit organizations, the IRS will want a “reasonable cause” for filing an extension. As 2020 was a crazy year, and many businesses/organizations were understaffed (especially those that are non-essential), it is safe to say that there is much reasonable cause floating around.

When do you have to pay your taxes?

It is very crucial to note that although filing a tax extension grants you extra time to turn in all your paperwork, it does not grant you extra time to pay your fees. If you owe the IRS money, you should still submit payments by the April 15th deadline. There is ONE little loophole here – as long as you pay 90% of your fees by the April deadline (and you filed a tax extension request on time) then you may pay your outstanding balance by the extended October 15th deadline. This will not result in any penalties or extra fees.

Either way, make sure you file your taxes by your deadline (whether April 15th or an extended deadline) in order to avoid a failure-to-file penalty fee. Even if you cannot afford to submit your payments in full by your filing deadline, don’t skip it. The failure-to-pay penalty is not as expensive as the failure-to-file penalty.

Happy Tax Season!!!
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What to do in Pasadena this Spring

Spring has sprung! Here are some local events happening this Spring that anyone can enjoy.

Kidspace Children’s Museum: Butterfly Season This exhibit is celebrating the life cycle and habitat of butterflies and other pollinators alike. Test your knowledge and connect with nature in these new exhibits, activities, and programs. Here you can create a caterpillar, dress up as a butterfly, and take a spin on the museum’s newest interactive art installation. Butterfly season will be up until May 14th.

Pasadena City College Flea Market Need your flea market fix, but can’t wait for the second Sunday of the month? Try checking out another one of Pasadena’s notable flea markets, at Pasadena City College. This marketplace is open on April 2nd and is best known for selling high-end antiques and other rummage sale-type pieces. The market hosts over 400 vendors and is sure to be a hit.

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts This traveling exhibition will be hosted by the Huntington Library from March 21st - March 27th. The exhibit explores some of Disney Studios’ earliest creations and Walt Disney’s obsession with French motifs and European art. Expect to see many of the Walt Disney archives in addition to 18th-century European decorative art and design.

Family Spring Equinox Hike These tickets, available on EventBrite, include a nature based craft, lunch, and of course a guided hike at the gorgeous Eaton Canyon Trail Head. This event takes place on March 25th and is both pet and family friendly.

Sierra Madre Chorale 2023 Spring Concert Looking to support the arts? This concert takes place from May 19th - May 21st and is sure to be filled with wonderful sounds. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at allevents.in for just $12.

Pasadena Spring Home Show Looking to do some home improvement soon? This expo, taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center on March 25th and 26th is just the place for you. Meet home improvement professionals in a fun, interactive environment where you can see their work showcased.

America’s Got Talent Filming Enjoy live television? Prepare to be entertained beyond measure at the America’s Got Talent live tapings right in your own neighborhood. Tapings take place at the glamorous Pasadena Civic Auditorium and are free to attend.  All you have to do is be fully vaccinated and make a reservation at on-camera-audiences.com. As an added bonus, with your reservation, you’ll receive 25% off your food purchase at the nearby Yard House. Get ready to see Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Sofia in the flesh! Tapings are taking place from March 23rd - April 6th.

International Gem and Jewelry Show Looking for that perfect new piece? Head to this show to find the perfect engagement ring, watch, diamonds, gemstone, and more. Shop directly from designers, wholesalers, and manufacturers from March 31st to April 2nd at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Old Pasadena In-Person Walking Tour On Saturday, April 1st be led through this historic town by trained docents. Discover the secrets, unusual architectural details, old alleyways, and historic signs of the area. Tickets are just $22 for nonmembers and the tour meets at Central Park, on the corner of Dayton Street and Raymond Ave.
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5 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

With tax season approaching, we at Harrington Group want to make sure you have the resources to receive the ultimate tax return! So today, we'll be showing you 5 of the most commonly overlooked tax deductions.

State Sales Taxes  This will not apply to the locations we primarily serve, however this is a frequently missed deduction in states that do not impose an income tax. When selecting between deducting state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes, most California residents will often select the state and local income tax deduction, as it is a better deal for them.

For any Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming residents that may be reading, we recommend claiming the sales tax deduction on your tax return. You can do this in one of two ways. One way is to track all your sales tax paid throughout the year. Or if you purchased any big ticket items such as a home, boat, vehicle, airplane, or did major home renovations, you can add up the sales tax from these items. Keep in mind, every state has a different limit for these particular deductions.

Reinvested Dividends While this doesn’t technically qualify as a deduction, this can be a significant subtraction that could save you a ton in the end. If you are like most investors, you probably automatically reinvest your mutual fund and stock dividends in extra shares. This reinvestment technique is increasing your “tax basis” in the mutual fund or stock. As a result, your capital gain is reduced when selling shares.

Should you, though understandably, forget to include your reinvested dividends in your cost basis, you are probably overpaying your taxes. You find this by subtracting from the proceeds of sale to determine your gain. Consider using Turbo Tax’s s Cost Basis Lookup for assistance.

Out-of-Pocket Charitable Donations While its easy to remember the larger charitable gifts made throughout the year by payroll deduction or check, sometimes the small costs that incurred during a good deed can easily slip through the cracks. For example, if you regularly prepare a meal for a nonprofit or soup kitchen or buy stamps for a school fundraiser, these qualify as a charitable contribution. Additionally, any driving of your vehicle for charity calls for a deduction of 14 cents per mile.

Student Loan Interest (Paid by you OR someone else) Rules around this deduction are changing for the better. Even if someone else has paid back your loan, the IRS is treating it as though they gave you the money and you paid off the debt yourself. In turn, a student, not claimed as a dependent, can qualify for up to $2,500 worth of deductions.

Moving Expenses  Rules around this deduction are changing as well, as it now only applies to military personnel. If your relocation is permanent, ordered by the military, and you haven’t received government reimbursement for the move, you qualify. Start counting up those costs spent on lodging, moving, and shipping. Such great news for those who serve!

Keep these tips in mind as we approach tax season!
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